The one thing you should never say to an home educator…

There are a few things that can be really annoying bordering on infuriating when you home educate. But there is nothing that is like drawing a moth to the flame such as the simple phrase; “Well if you need a break, just put them in school!”

It’s not because the person home educating necessarily has anything against the school system (though of course, some don’t believe the school system works) but because in most cases, the person has actively made the decision that school is not right for their child or family. That simple comment, can be a huge slap in the face. Especially when the parent has pulled their child out of school because of school-induced trauma or other circumstances beyond their control.

Wanting an hour or two ‘me time’ is not in any way the same as putting your child in school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week (or more if you include breakfast club and/or after-school club.) Just as home education is not an option for your family, putting their child in school is not an option for their family.

School parents also need me-time too, so why is there an expectation that because someone home educates their child they somehow are immune from needing any time to themselves? It’s a highly common misconception which can be quite frustrating sometimes! Some home ed parents, like any other parent need space to feel frustrated and not judged for needing that space. And clearly if school was the answer, they would have already taken that option, it’s not like they don’t know it’s available to them.

Home education is a different dynamic, that is for sure but that doesn’t mean our needs are different to anyone else’s. All it does mean is that we approach things in a different way, and have our own set of challenges.

Home educators are not super-human because they choose not to delegate their responsibility for their child’s education to a school, they simply know what is right for their family, just as you do for yours. It is not a competition.

So please, cut the bullshit. We are all doing the best we can for our families and if you can’t be supportive without implying their children should be in school, simply because you don’t agree with it or can’t understand the decision they have made there’s a simple phrase to keep in mind.

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”

Respect is a two-way street. Most home educators I know, would not suggest home ed to a friend or family member unless that person was open to it or already asking questions. So please don’t force your opinion on others.

What works for one family, does not work for another.

Please bear that in mind.

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